Sunday, 17 March 2019

After Brexit

Too many Remainers are thinking that after the shambles of Brexit, the lack of trade deals and the fall in the economy, will teach Brexiters what a bad decision we made.

But it won't.

There will be trade deals, because the government will be so desperate to sign deals, they will take poor bargains and pretend that they are great. To do a deal with the USA, we're going to have to accept their Chlorinated chicken. (for example).

Chlorination isn't the problem, the problem is that even after chlorination, the chicken is so dodgy that salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States every year. 

In England and Wales in 2015, 8451 cases; our chicken is safer. 

Post-Brexit, I shall be carefully avoiding US chicken, not because it's chlorinated, but because of the salmonella risk.

But I doubt if you'll hear much about this. Because of the importance of pretending that the trade deal is good.

It isn't just the US, though. Most other countries are in no hurry to sign trade deals with the UK, because it's obvious that post-Brexit, we're going to be desperate, and desperate negotiators are easy meat.

And there will be considerable job losses.


This will be blamed on the horrible foreigners, not our fault at all. Expecially on the EU, which will be portrayed as punishing the UK.

I don't find it possible to be optimistic.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

The can, kicked again

After a flurry of votes on various amendments, our team of 650 clowns has decided to ... kick the can further down the road. Again. Maybe.

The vote was 412 to 202 to ask the EU for a delay beyond 29 March. But for that to happen, the 27 other EU countries have to ALL say yes. Will they?

Why should they? We still haven't said what we want. All we've said is what we don't want, so I'll just list that.

1. We don't want the May deal.
2. We don't want to leave with no deal.
3. We don't want to stay in the EU.

And to that, we can add:

4. The EU has said that the May deal is the only one on offer.

So what do we want? We don't know. And when do we want it? We don't know.

Quite likely, not all the 27 EU countries will agree to an extension that has no end in sight. They must think we're a bunch of toddlers, making a demand but without any clear idea of what we're demanding.

"Give me what I want!"
"What do you want?"

How does that affect me?

I'm ready for "Making Tax Digital" which comes in on April 1 (good choice, clowns). But I'm not ready for paying my VAT which will come due on April , because our 650 clowns can't tell me whether we'll be in the EU or out. If we're in, I can use the "Union VAT-Moss scheme" which I've been using for a few years now. If we're out, then I can't use that, I have to use the "non-Union VAT-Moss scheme". But for that, I have to register for it in an EU country, and I can't register until we're out of the EU.

And if we leave on 29 March, then I think I will have to simply not make any sales on the next two days, because if I do, I'll be blowed if I know what to do with the EU VAT.

Those 650 clowns have absolutely no idea how much chaos they're causing.

The damage to democracy isn't being done by the possibility of re-running the referendum, it's being done by the clown car crash that is Westminster and the revelation of utter incompetence that we are witnessing.

Sunday, 10 March 2019


The current debate about knife crime seems to have focussed on knives. Asda will no longer allow the sale of a single knife, there are suggestions that carrying a knife with a blade longer than three inches could get you into trouble.

In my car, I carry a selection of spanners and other tools, so that if I have a mechanical problem, I stand a chance of fixing it. And they have been useful in the past, especially for bicycle maintenance.

One of those tools is a screwdriver, with a shaft several inches long.  No-one is talking about screwdrivers.

Or sharpened sticks.

Friday, 8 March 2019

VAT update

 I finally got an email about VAT Moss. It tells me what happens if we crash out on March 29.

So I will be able to do my last VAT Moss payment on April 1, but I better not make any sales on March 30 or 31st. And then I'll have to register for the non-Union scheme in an EU country. Maybe Ireland, because the speak English.

But what happens if we leave with the May deal? No-one has told me. What happens if Brexit is postponed? No-one has told me.

What they are telling me, is "get ready". How, when no-one knows what's happening?

Dear VAT MOSS user,

We are writing to tell you about changes to the UK Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) and the actions you’ll need to take if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019.

What will change?                        

The UK will no longer be a part of the VAT MOSS service. UK businesses that sell digital services after the UK has left the EU won’t be able to use the UK MOSS portal to declare VAT due in EU Member States.

The £8,818 annual threshold for cross border sales of digital services to EU consumers will no longer apply. All supplies of digital services to consumers in the EU will become liable for VAT in the consumer’s Member State.

What do I need to do?

If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, the last return you will be able to submit via the UK MOSS portal is for the period ending March 2019. You should only include sales made between 1 January 2019 and 11pm on 29 March 2019. The submission and payment deadline is the 20 April 2019. The portal will remain open until the 15 May 2019 in case you need to amend your quarter one 2019 return after submission.

Any other outstanding MOSS returns or corrections should be made via the UK MOSS portal by 29 March 2019. After this date, you will need to contact the relevant Member State concerned if you need to amend earlier returns.

If you continue to make supplies of digital services to EU consumers after the UK has left the EU then you must charge VAT at the rate of the Member State of your customer, regardless of the value of the supply, and either:

·         register for VAT in each Member State where VAT is due; or

·         register for the VAT MOSS non-Union scheme in a Member State of your choosing.

How do I register for the VAT MOSS non-Union scheme?

You can only register for the MOSS non-Union scheme after the UK has left the EU. You need to register within 10 days of the month following your first sale after the UK has left the EU as otherwise your registration will take effect from the first day of the quarter after the date you apply to register. This means that if you make a sale between 30 and 31 March 2019 then you will need to register by 10 April 2019. If you apply to register after that date, and have made sales on 30 or 31 March, then your registration will take effect from 1 July 2019 and you will become liable to register for VAT in each Member State where VAT is due for the period prior to 1 July 2019.

To allow you to register for the non-Union scheme, you will be automatically deregistered from UK MOSS with effect from 1 April 2019. You will still be able to access the system after you have been deregistered so you can submit and amend your return for the first quarter of 2019 and view previous returns.

You can find further information on registering for the MOSS non-Union scheme on the EU Commission’s webpage [](>
ss_en) and information on EU exit on ‘Trading with the EU if the UK leaves without a deal’ [].

Businesses can register for our email update service at: [] - select ‘business help and education emails’, then ‘EU Exit’. You can use the ‘Prepare your business for the UK leaving the EU []’ tool on GOV.UK to find further guidance and support to help your business.

If you have any questions in respect of UK MOSS and EU exit, you can ask email the VAT MOSS team at:

Yours sincerely,


HM Revenue & Customs

United Kingdom

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Institutional anti-Semitism

What is institutional anti-Semitism? There's probably a definition somewhere, but for me, it would mean that the organisation in question, is more sluggish to investigate Jew hatred, than it is of other forms of racism. It might also mean that punishments for Jew hatred are lighter than for other forms of racism.

So is the Labour party institutionally anti-Semitic? I don't have enough information to be able to form a judgement, but I think the way to find out, is to look at complaints of anti-Semitism, and complains of Islamophobia, and see if there's a difference in how long it takes to investigate. I would also want to compare the weight of sanctions, but that's more difficult, because how can you compare like with like.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission have decided to investigate the Labour party. I hope that they can finally excise the cancer of anti-Semitism from the Labour party - if indeed there is institutional anti-Semitism, and if it is possible to cut it out.

Eye drops

I just went for testing, because I had over-pressure in my left eye.

I've been taking drops for it for a few years now (one drop in the morning). Today, the test showed that the pressure was up again, 25 where it should have been 20 (that's millimeters of mercury). So I was prescribed an additional eye drop, to be taken morning and evening.

The problem with eye over-pressure is that it would eventually damage the eye nerve. I already have very minor damage, the VFI is 96% (my right eye is 100%).

Reading the doctors charts, there was one for the left eye, and one for the right. I was about to ask which was which, and then I noticed that one was headed OD and the other OS.
I did Latin for four years, so I knew that was "Oculus Dexter" and "Oculus Sinister". Right eye and left eye.

While on the subject of health; I had a touch of psoriasis. Nothing serious, but it wasn't clearing up on its own, so I went to the doctor last week. He gave me clobetasone butyrate ointment, to be smeared on once per day, and Diprobase cream for a few times per day. That seems to have cleared it up very quickly.

Moral - if you have a problem, consult your GP.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Swallows and Amazons

One of the great delights of my childhood, were the books by Arthur Ransome. Written in 1930 or so, they describe the adventures of the Swallows (the four Walker children) and the Amazons (the Blackett girls), sailing in the Lake District.

Recently, I found these stories as PDF fles, and I've been reading them again. And they are just as good as they were 60 years ago.